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Contra Costa County, CA November 6, 2012 Election
Measure E
Bond Measure
West Contra Costa Unified School District

55% Approval Required

Pass: 50266 / 64.39% Yes votes ...... 27794 / 35.61% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 3 1:05pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (139/139)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement | Full Text

To make schools safe, complete essential health/safety repairs, qualify for State matching grants, shall West Contra Costa Unified School District upgrade schools for earthquake safety and handicap accessibility, remove asbestos, upgrade science labs, restrooms, vocational classrooms, technology and energy systems to reduce costs, install lighting and security systems, and acquire, repair, construct, equipment, sites and facilities, by issuing $360,000,000 in bonds within legal rates and bonding capacity limits with independent audits, citizen oversight, and no money for administrators' salaries?

Impartial Analysis from the County Counsel
The Board of Education of the West Contra Costa Unified School District has adopted a resolution proposing to issue and sell bonds. This ballot measure asks voters to decide whether the District should be authorized to issue and sell bonds with an aggregate principal value not to exceed $360,000,000, to finance specified improvements.

If this measure passes, the District would be authorized to levy a tax on each parcel of taxable property within the District to generate revenue to repay the bonds. Under State law, the rate could be up to $60 per $100,000 of taxable property value per year until all bonds are repaid. A parcel of taxable real property is any unit of real property located in the District that receives a separate property tax bill from the Contra Costa County Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office. The tax would not be levied on parcels that are exempt from paying property taxes.

The measure would authorize the District to issue and sell bonds under authority of the California Government Code, and the California Education Code. Bonds issued under the Government Code could have a maturity of up to 40 years. Bonds issued under the Education Code could have a maturity of up to 25 years. The bonds would bear interest at a rate not to exceed the rate authorized by law.

Proceeds from the sale of bonds would be used to finance the school facility improvements specified in the measure. The proceeds may only be used for the purposes specified in the measure. The measure provides that, depending on the cost of each improvement to be financed with bond proceeds, some improvements may be delayed, or may not be completed. The District assumes that it will receive matching state funds to finance some of the improvements specified in the measure. The measure states that, without matching State funds, some improvements will not be completed.

State law requires the District to conduct an annual performance audit, and, as long as any funds remain unspent, an annual independent financial audit, to ensure that funds are used only for the purposes described in the measure. The measure also would require the District to establish an independent citizens' oversight committee that would ensure funds are used only for the purposes described in the measure.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of those voting on the ballot measure must approve the measure for it to pass.

A "yes" vote is a vote in favor of the ballot measure. A "no" vote is a vote against the ballot measure.

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Arguments For Measure E Arguments Against Measure E
Our students deserve safe schools, upgraded classrooms, and state-ofthe-art computer labs to help them reach their potential and succeed in today's economy. The West Contra Costa School District has worked diligently to leverage local funds to obtain matching state grants that upgraded schools throughout our community and provided safe, clean classrooms for students to learn in. Measure E will allow the school district to work with the existing, successful bond program to complete much of its master plan and provide every student with a quality classroom.

Vote YES on Measure E to:

  • Upgrade schools for earthquake safety and handicap accessibility;
  • Provide computer and science labs to help provide our students with resources to succeed;
  • Remove asbestos and other hazardous materials;
  • Upgrade classrooms to support core academics -- math, science, reading and writing;
  • Upgrade technology and energy systems to reduce costs and increase sustainability;
  • Provide classrooms for job training to prepare students for the workforce;
  • Provide space for after-school programs so kids are safe from gangs and drugs; and
  • Replace aging, outdated and deteriorated schools and classrooms.

The school district will use the $360 million in bonds provided by Measure E to qualify for millions of dollars in state matching funds. All money spent will be subject to annual independent financial audits and review by an independent citizens' oversight committee. No funds from this bond measure will be used for administrator's salaries or pensions. The money will only be spent on schools in our community and none of the funds can be taken by the state.

Measure E will help our school district provide a safe, healthy learning environment for our students and give them the tools they need to succeed. Join parents, teachers, elected officials, and community members in voting YES on Measure E.

http://www.YesforSafeSchools.com

Jeff Rubin, Concerned Citizens of Pinole

Thomas Prather, Teacher, Grant Elementary School

Brenda Surgers, Principal, Lake Elementary School

Eric Zell, Businessperson/Director, West Contra Costa Healthcare District

Joey Schlemmer, Police Sergeant, Richmond Resident

Rebuttal to Arguments For
West Contra Unified School District (District) students deserve good schools. Since school money is scarce, every dollar must be stretched and used carefully. We're concerned that Measure E is unaffordable and jeopardizes our financial future.

Bonds are an expensive form of debt. As with a home mortgage, bonds are repaid over time. Decades from now, the children and grandchildren of today's students will still be paying off the District's CURRENT $1.27 billion in bonds PLUS INTEREST for today's school construction. Repayment of current bonds will cost HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS in interest.

In considering this measure, voters should ask:

  • Right now the District's debt load is NEARLY TWICE that allowed by the state standards. Is it prudent to assume more debt right now?
  • This bond says it will fix many of the same problems as previous bonds. Were past bonds spent as originally promised? Are the projects covered by this bond truly necessary?
  • Independent supervision of bond spending is in doubt because all members of the Bond Oversight Committee are approved by the School Board. The School Board also has its own representatives on that Committee. Isn't there a conflict of interest?
  • With declining school enrollment does it make sense to continue all this construction?

Until these questions are answered, residents should vote NO on Measure E!

For more information see http://www.cocotax.org

Contra Costa Taxpayers Association Kris Hunt, Executive Director

Anton Jungherr Former Member West Contra Costa Unified School District Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee

School bonds are not free money. Bonds are debt that must be paid back with interest.

Voters in the West Contra Costa Unified School District (District) already have generously approved five bonds worth $1.27 billion, plus hundreds of millions in interest charges. Now the District wants another $360 million for more construction, despite declining school enrollment. Only two years ago voters approved $380 million in bonds that promised similar projects to those now proposed.

Consider:

  • In 1998 the District represented that the first $40 million bond would fund all of the projects they would ever need. Four bond measures followed.
  • Bond after bond, the same items appear on the project funding lists. Something is wrong.
  • The District has an excessive level of debt that exceeds the state standard for school districts.
  • Bond funds do not reach classrooms, which is where money should be directed to improve schools.
  • Bond oversight committees are very limited in what they can do. All appointees (even the one from the taxpayer group) are approved by the school board.

Property tax bills list the many costs piled onto property owners. West County homeowners, apartment owners, and business owners are already paying THREE TIMES THE AVERAGE school bond rates -- yet the District wants even more. Enough is enough!

By voting NO on Measure E residents will stop this reckless financial merry-go-round!

Vote NO on Measure E!

For more information see http://www.cocotax.org

Contra Costa Taxpayers Association Kris Hunt, Executive Director

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
West County students deserve safe, clean schools. The School District has buildings that still have hazardous materials in them, are not adequately earthquake safe, and are not accessible to all students. They've worked hard to upgrade most of our schools, leveraging previous bond money to get millions of dollars in funding from the state. West County voters have approved these projects and were rewarded with safe, upgraded schools. The remaining schools deserve the same care and assistance.

Measure E will fund upgrades, improvements, and rebuilds at:

Cameron School Collins Elementary Crespi Middle School Grant Elementary Hercules Middle/High School Kennedy High School Lake Elementary Madera Elementary North Campus Continuation School Portola Playfields Olinda Elementary Richmond High School Riverside Elementary Shannon Elementary Verde Elementary

The School District has delivered on previous bond funding with improvements you can see district-wide. Despite cuts in state funding, they paid back all the money that was borrowed from the state.

Measure E will ensure all students have safe classrooms to learn core academics, participate in hands-on science education, and prepare for college and the workforce. It will improve technology in schools, upgrade schools for earthquake safety and accessibility, and remove asbestos and other hazardous materials.

All money spent through Measure E is subject to annual financial audits by an independent citizens' oversight committee. The funds raised by Measure E must be spent on schools in our community, and none of the money can be taken by the State.

Join us in voting YES on Measure E.

Brant Fetter, Parent, Coronado Elementary

Marianne Darke Harrison, President and Parent, Collins Elementary School PTA

Eric Swabeck, Teacher, Lake Elementary School

Jim Russey, Retired Firefighter, City of Richmond

Anne Shin, Principal, Collins Elementary School, City of Hercules resident

Tax Rate Statement from the Superintendent of WCCUSD
An election will be held in the West Contra Costa Unified School District (the "District") on November 6, 2012, to authorize the sale of up to $360,000,000 in bonds of the District to finance school facilities as described in the proposition. If the bonds are approved, the District plans to issue the bonds in a number of series over a period of time. Principal and interest on the bonds will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The information presented in numbered paragraphs 1-3 below is provided in compliance with Sections 9400-9404 of the Elections Code of the State of California.

1. The best estimate of the tax which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is 4.80 cents per $100 ($48.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2013-14.

2. The best estimate of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the last series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is 4.80 cents per $100 ($48.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2021-22.

3. The best estimate of the highest tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue, based on estimate assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, 4.80 cents per $100 ($48.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2021-22.

The District's best estimate of the average tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue over all of the years the bonds will be outstanding is 4.80 cents per $100 ($48.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation.

The tax rate estimates in this statement reflect the District's current projection of future assessed values and of future debt service payments, which are based on certain assumptions. Approval of the ballot measure authorizes the issuance of bonds under certain conditions and for certain purposes, and is not approval of a specific tax rate or a specific plan of bond issuance. The actual tax rates and the years in which they will apply may vary from those presently estimated, due to variations from these estimates in the timing of bond sales, the amount and repayment structure of bonds sold, market interest rates at the time of each sale, and actual assessed valuations over the term of repayment of the bonds. The dates of sale and the amount and repayment structure of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on its need for construction funds, its intention to meet the tax rate targets stated above, the legal limitations on bonds approved by a 55% vote and other factors. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on the bond market at the time of each sale. Actual future assessed valuation will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.

Voters should note that the estimated tax rates are based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property in the District as shown on the County's official tax rolls, not on the property's market value. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills to determine their property's assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.

Dated: August 1, 2012 Bruce Harter Superintendent West Contra Costa Unified School District

Full Text of Measure E
EXHIBIT B FULL TEXT BALLOT PROPOSITION OF THE WEST CONTRA COSTA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT BOND MEASURE ELECTION NOVEMBER 6, 2012

"WEST CONTRA COSTA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT STUDENT SAFETY/CLASSROOM REPAIR MEASURE. To make schools safe, complete essential health and safety repairs, qualify for State matching grants, shall West Contra Costa Unified School District:

  • upgrade schools for earthquake safety and handicap accessibility,

  • remove asbestos,

  • upgrade science labs,

  • upgrade restrooms, vocational classrooms, technology and energy systems to reduce costs,

  • install lighting and security systems,

  • acquire, repair, construct equipment, sites and facilities

by issuing $360,000,000 in bonds within legal rates and bonding capacity limits with independent audits, citizen oversight, and no money for administrators' salaries?"

PROJECT LIST

The Board of Education of the West Contra Costa Unified School District certifies that it evaluated the District's urgent and critical school needs, including school and student safety issues, enrollment trends, class size reduction, overcrowding, energy efficiency and computer technology, seismic safety requirements, and aging, outdated or deteriorating school buildings in developing the scope of projects to be funded. In developing the scope of projects, the District has prioritized the key health and safety and sustainability needs so that the most critical school site needs are addressed. The Board conducted an evaluation at all school sites and received public input in developing the scope of school projects to be funded. This input concluded that if these needs were not addressed now, the problem would only get worse and more expensive to address in the future. In approving this Project List, the Board of Education determines that the District should:

(i) Provide classrooms for job training to prepare students for the workforce.

(ii) Upgrade classrooms to support core academics, math, science, reading and writing.

(iii) Upgrade computer and science labs.

(iv) Qualify for millions of dollars of State matching funds.

(v) Provide good after-school program space so kids are safe from gangs and drugs.

(vi) Adhere to specific FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY safeguards such as:

(a) Sacramento will be prohibited from taking any of the funds raised.

(b) All expenditures will be subject to annual independent financial audits.

(c) No funds will be used for administrators' salaries and pensions.

(d) All funds will be subject to local control and provide improvements, at all of our schools.

(e) An independent citizens' oversight committee will be appointed to ensure that all funds are spent only as authorized.

The Project List includes the following types of projects: School Renovation, Repair and Upgrade Projects

Goal and Purpose: Schools will benefit from the renovation, repair and upgrade of deteriorating, outdated school buildings, science labs, classrooms, computer learning centers and school libraries and equipment, to ensure compliance with handicap accessibility requirements and that students and teachers have the resources they need to excel and students be prepared for college and the real world when they graduate:

  • Repair, upgrade and replace worn-out leaking roofs.

  • Replace existing wiring systems to meet current electrical and accessibility codes.

  • Additional electrical service capacity to relieve currently overloaded electrical systems.

  • Replace existing water, sewer, plumbing and storm drain systems to meet current codes, including the elimination of lead-containing fixtures.

  • Upgrade aging and deteriorating school restrooms.

  • Provide improved, upgraded computer labs.

  • Upgrade and equip classrooms, science labs and multipurpose rooms and facilities.

  • Federal and State-mandated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility upgrades.

  • Replace old, portable classrooms.

  • Upgrade aging schools.

School Health, Safety and Security, Earthquake Safety and Enerqy Efficiency School Projects

Goal and Purpose: To ensure that the learninq process is not interrupted by qanqs and druqs or juvenile crime, to maintain healthy students and improve daily attendance, to help attract and retain excellent teachers, and to deter vandalism, schools and school sites will benefit from a variety of health and safety projects, such as:

Student Safety

  • Install new security systems, such as security (surveillance) cameras, outdoor lighting, fencing, gates and classroom door locks.

  • Remove or abate asbestos, lead paint, mold and hazardous materials.

  • Upgrade emergency communication systems.

  • Fire alarm systems upgraded to automatic systems, repair fire safety equipment, add sprinklers and fire safety doors.

  • Upgrades to schools to meet handicap accessibility requirements.

  • Replace/upgrade existing signage, bells and clocks.

  • Upgrade site playground equipment replacement to meet current safety standards.

Enerqy Efficiency-Returninq Savinqs to the Classrooms.

  • Install energy efficient systems, including solar panels, energy efficient heating, ventilation and cooling systems for cost savings and energy efficiency.

  • Replace existing window systems with energy efficient systems.

  • Replace older ceilings, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems with building code compliant, energy efficient systems.

District-Wide Wiring and Instructional Technology For Effective Learning Environment and Job Training Projects

Goal and Purpose: To upgrade computer technology, improve both current instruction methods and to expand job training programs by applying modern technology infrastructure:

  • Update computer labs.

  • Provide and maintain upgraded technology, data and communication equipment.

  • Upgrade and expand wireless systems, telecommunications, Internet access.

  • Upgrade and replace computers, hardware and software systems.

  • Upgrade and replace classroom furniture, equipment and instructional aids.

  • Upgrade media and audio/visual equipment.

  • Expand bandwidth to allow student greater access to the Internet.

  • Install up-to-date learning technology and equipment used in job training programs.

Listed building, repair and rehabilitation projects and upgrades will be completed as needed. Each project is assumed to include its share of furniture, equipment, architectural, engineering, and similar planning costs, program/project management, staff training expenses and a customary contingency for unforeseen design and construction costs. In addition to the listed repair and construction projects stated above, the Project List also include the acquisition of a variety of instructional, maintenance and operational equipment, including the reduction or retirement of outstanding lease or capital facility note obligations including interim funding incurred to advance fund projects from the Project List, or the reimbursement of the District for such reduction, as well as the refinancing of outstanding general obligation bond debt of the District, the construction of new classrooms or schools, if necessary to serve students, the acquisition of land, the construction or remodeling of administrative support spaces, installation of signage and fencing, the payment of the costs of preparation of all facility planning, facility assessment reviews, facility master plan updates, environmental studies (including environmental investigation, remediation and monitoring) and construction documentation, gymnasium upgrades, temporary housing of dislocated District activities caused by bond projects and the completion of projects authorized under the District's Measure M, Measure D, Measure J and 2010 Measure D projects, previously approved by the voters. The upgrading of technology infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, computers, LCD projectors, portable interface devices, servers, switches, routers, modules, sound projection, card access systems, laser printers, digital white boards, document projectors, upgraded voice-over IP, call manager and network security/firewall, and other miscellaneous equipment and software. In addition to the projects listed above, the repair and renovation of each of the existing school facilities may include, but not be limited to, some or all of the following: renovation of student and staff restrooms; repair and replacement of heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems; upgrade of facilities for energy efficiencies and to reduce fire risks; repair and replacement of worn-out and leaky roofs, windows, walls doors and drinking fountains; demolition of unsafe schools or facilities; installation wiring and electrical systems to safely accommodate computers, technology and other electrical devices and needs; repair and replacement of fire alarms, emergency communications and security systems; resurfacing or replacing of hard courts, turf and irrigation systems and campus landscaping; build/renovate new gymnasiums, pools and high school stadiums; upgrade or replace inadequate libraries, multi-purpose rooms and kitchens; upgrade locker rooms; install lunch shelters, artificial turf, and bleachers; improve sanitation and recycling; expand parking; build new stadium; install interior and exterior painting and floor covering; replacement of portable classrooms; installation of covered walkways or shelters; addition of administrative support spaces; upgrade school site kitchens; repair rubberized play apparatus surfaces; demolition; and construction of various forms of storage and support spaces; upgrade classrooms; repair, upgrade and install interior and exterior lighting systems; replace water and sewer lines and other plumbing systems; and replace outdated security fences and security systems. The allocation of bond proceeds will be affected by the District's receipt of State matching funds and the final costs of each project. In the absence of State matching funds, which the District will aggressively pursue to reduce the District's share of the costs of the projects, the District will not be able to complete some of the projects listed above. Some projects may be undertaken as joint use projects in cooperation with other local public or non-profit agencies. Possible jointuse projects could include any of the following at various school sites: libraries, gymnasiums, athletic facilities, daycare centers, preschools and career technology centers. The budget for each project is an estimate and may be affected by factors beyond the District's control. The final cost of each project will be determined as plans are finalized, construction bids are awarded and projects are completed. Based on the final costs of each project, certain projects described above may be delayed or may not be completed. Demolition of existing facilities and reconstruction of facilities scheduled for repair and upgrade may occur, if the Board determines that such an approach would be more costeffective in creating more enhanced and operationally efficient campuses. Necessary site preparation/restoration may occur in connection with new construction, renovation or remodeling, or installation or removal of relocatable classrooms, including ingress and egress, removing, replacing or installing irrigation, storm drain, and utility lines, trees and landscaping, relocating fire access roads, and acquiring any necessary easements, licenses, or rights of way to the property. Proceeds of the bonds may be used to pay or reimburse the District for the cost of District staff when performing work on or necessary and incidental to bond projects. Bond proceeds shall only be expended for the specific purposes identified herein. In order to fund the projects and prior to the issuance of any bonds authorized by this Measure, the District may seek a waiver from the State Board of Education of the applicable bonding limit requirements of Section 15106 of the Education Code. The District shall create an account into which proceeds of the bonds shall be deposited and comply with the reporting requirements of Government Code 53410.

NO ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES. PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE OF THE BONDS AUTHORIZED BY THIS PROPOSITION SHALL BE USED ONLY FOR THE ACQUISITION, CONSTRUCTION, RECONSTRUCTION, REHABILITATION, OR REPLACEMENT OF SCHOOL FACILITIES, INCLUDING THE FURNISHING AND EQUIPPING OF SCHOOL FACILITIES, AND NOT FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE, INCLUDING TEACHER AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES AND OTHER OPERATING EXPENSES.

FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY. THE EXPENDITURE OF BOND MONEY ON THESE PROJECTS IS SUBJECT TO STRINGENT FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIREMENTS. BY LAW, PERFORMANCE AND FINANCIAL AUDITS WILL BE PERFORMED ANNUALLY, AND ALL BOND EXPENDITURES WILL BE MONITORED BY AN INDEPENDENT CITIZENS' OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE (EDUCATION CODE SECTION 15278 ET SEQ.) TO ENSURE THAT FUNDS ARE SPENT AS PROMISED AND SPECIFIED. THE CITIZENS' OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE MUST INCLUDE, AMONG OTHERS, REPRESENTATION OF A BONA RIDE TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION, A BUSINESS ORGANIZATION AND A SENIOR CITIZENS ORGANIZATION. NO DISTRICT EMPLOYEES OR VENDORS ARE ALLOWED TO SERVE ON THE CITIZENS' OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.


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Created: December 17, 2012 13:44 PST
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